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Nintendo Switch sales hit 1.5m in Japan in 26 weeks

PS4 hit the same milestone in 69 weeks

Nintendo Switch has hit 1.5m units in Japan, despite consumer dissatisfaction driven by mass shortages.

That's according to Media Create as reported by Kotaku. The website observes that PS4 shifted 665,760 units during the same 26 week period (it wouldn't hit 1.5m units until week 69).

However, although interesting, the comparisons aren't particularly fair. PS4 launched with a Western-friendly line-up and is also a full home console. Japan is a territory where portable and mobile gaming reigns supreme, and in that sense Switch was always a stronger proposition.

A better comparison would be with 3DS, which launched during March 2011 and actually sold ever-so-slightly more than the Switch during the same 26-week period. Yet, once again, it isn't a completely accurate comparison. 3DS had a lower price point, for one, and also didn't endure the severe stock shortages that the Switch has. Indeed, we don't really know how well the new machine will have sold if it had been in free supply.

The Switch stock shortages in Japan have been well documented, with consumers queuing for hours to be in with a chance to receive units. Nintendo had vowed to increase its shipments, and managed to do so with the arrival of Splatoon 2 and Monster Hunter XX. Splatoon 2 has sold more than 1m units in a month since launch.

Nintendo has adopted a slightly different strategy with Switch. As opposed to launching a large number of games at the machine's launch, it has spread out its big games over the following six months - including Mario Kart 8 in April, Arms in June, Splatoon 2 in July and Super Mario Odyssey in October. It is a strategy that appears to have worked, with no sign of waning demand so far.

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Christopher Dring avatar

Christopher Dring

Head of Games B2B

Chris is a 15-year games business veteran. He spent nine years at UK business weekly MCV, including five years as editor. He joined GI in 2016 and oversees editorial, sales and events worldwide. He is the architect behind Best Places To Work Awards and GI Live. And is a tiny bit obsessed with market data. He also writes for Doctor Who Magazine. Because Doctor Who is awesome.

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